' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: A first/birth mother on opening the door to her child after secrecy ruled her life

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A first/birth mother on opening the door to her child after secrecy ruled her life

A comment too good to leave as simply a comment that will be shared with more people if I make it a full post. It's too good to not share widely:

My family did not know that I had a child that I relinquished. My other children did not know. Very few of my closest friends knew. When the call came that my son was searching for me, I hesitated for an instant. And then I opened the door to this young man who carried a burden his entire life. He thought he was unwanted, unloved, and all alone in the world. He had parents who loved him dearly, gave him all that they had to offer but it still wasn't enough. I too carried a burden. A burden of regret and shame. An unbearable sense of loss. The best thing in my life has been to say "yes" to my first born. No matter what it has cost me, it has cost him more. I would encourage every first mother to say yes to your child. 
Amen. That about says it all, right? --lorraine 

44 comments :

  1. I think this is beautiful. As an adoptee, I searched for my birth mother since 1989. I found her, but she is deceased. I do know her sisters, however, and have a growing relationship with them. My birth father, also found, is also deceased, but I have found two half siblings. I still do not know my two brothers and sister. While I have learned what I know, there will always be that loss for my birth mother. When her sister told me that she was gone, I wept like I had known her. I have always loved her. I have always dreamt of the day that I could tell her. Alas, I won't have that chance, due to the laws hiding us; I hope I can see her in Heaven, if there is one.

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    1. Dear Lori, know that she loved you and mourned the loss of you for all of her life. Hugs and hugs and hugs. Sometimes there are just not enough hugs in the world...

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  2. It's a leap of faith. There is nothing to lose, although it may be a rollercoaster of emotions, there is more loss in not doing it.

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  3. Sometimes, we can say ‘yes’ and open those doors only to be met with long suppressed anger, dysfunction and the awful feeling of suffering the same loss twice. I have a less than successful reunion because my adult child made demands no one could meet, dealt with everything with manipulation and duplicity and tried to cause problems in my relationships with my raised children. I understand what has caused this but all the love and understanding in the world cannot fix someone who cannot see past the darkness inside. I still mourn my child, though my child is alive and functioning, every day. My baby became a hostile, sociopathic wreck. It hurts. Still, I would not turn back the clock and say no. Knowing is always better and offering Love is what mothers (should) do.

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    1. Dear Robin, hugs and hugs and hugs. You are a warrior.

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    2. While my reunion was an ongoing game of relentless interrogation and lies, I would do it again. Knowing Joanna had family that cared for her, and learning that she is well, or as well as can be expected for having lived an adopted life; this is what haunted and made me crazy - the unknown outcome of her adoption. Truth can be cruel and so hurtful, yet, having survived the agony of giving away my baby, reunion has not been a greater cross, and it has brought me to healing. What I have now is the healing that comes with discovering mothers who stand up, speak out, publish their stories, like Lorraine, as well as forums, articles, all of which has given me the gift of sisterhood and a new understanding of what was involved in my having "chosen" adoption. One example of healing is that now I can approach and talk to all babies: I can pick them up and enjoy them without the shame, anxiety, and guilt that possessed me for so so many years. No, we can't unring the bell, but we can help each other to understand the lifetime effects brought to bear by the business of adoption.

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    3. Yes to all the above. Those who have read hole in my heart know that my relationship was anything but easy, yet I never for a moment was sorry I found her. In the nick of time. I couldn't undo the years of confusion and isolation she felt--a result of the double whammy of being adopted and having epilepsy, but yes, life got so much easier once I knew where she was, who she was.

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    4. Robin, the important thing is that you said yes and tried to make it work. You were open to a relationship and open to letting your son have relationships with others. His behaviour is completely disgusting. 1 in 25 people is a sociopath/psychopath. I'm sorry your son is. Everyone should give it a try, and only refuse contact if they find out they are a danger to society like you sadly have.

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  4. As an adoptee I love what Lisa said and commend her for her bravery in leaving that comment and also for being brave enough to say YES when her son found her. I hope any first mothers in hiding reading this will be as brave as Lisa was. I am curious how her son found her was it through DNA? I hope they have a happy reunion.

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    1. Hi Susan. He paid the adoption agency Indiana to do a search. He was the brave one though. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for him. I am the lucky one

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    2. Lisa, are you on facebook?

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  5. I read my son's letter to me Sunday night, told my raised children on Monday, and met him Tuesday evening. I was not risking him changing his mind, or letting him get away again. THIS time I had choices.

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  6. That's so kind Lorraine. I was so lucky to find this forum and all of you. Agreements,disagreements,I always gain something from all who comment here. Thank you for providing a place to share our "Birthmarks" and all of "The holes in our hearts".

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  7. Definitely you can say yes. Sounds trite, but the truth really does set you free. And the truth is, for the most part, not as bad as what our children suppose. It can give them some peace of mind, as well as for you also. Not that everything is great then, but at least the truth is not based on fantasies, fears or lies.

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  8. Opening the door after 34 years of silence was the best decision I ever made. We have grown together over the past nine years, it is work, often sad. But when he calls me Mom I smile every time.

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  9. Good for you Lisa, you did the right thing! Hopefully a good relationship will develop as you move forward with your oldest son back in your life. It is such a relief to be able to be truthful with people about how many children you have, what they all do etc. How old is your son? Mine is now 50, it is a long complicated tale but we are in touch now. I can't believe I have a kid that old! I also have 3 I raised, they are all great.

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  10. "No matter what it has cost me, it has cost him more". I am adopted, and I think this is true. Not all first mother's feel this way.
    I don't think my mother felt this way. I think she thought she did me a favor.

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    1. Maryleee M.
      I am so sorry. Sorry for you, sorry that your mother is not able to deal with the sorrow in a different way than pulling back. Many hugs.

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    2. Marylee,I always thought that I had done the "right" thing for my son. I wanted him to have everything that I didn't have to give. It wasn't until I ssw his very real pain that I realized the error in my thinking. I can't change the first 33 years of his life. But I will spend the rest of my life showing him through thought and deed that he is loved. Hugs to you Marylee. You are loved.

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    3. Marylee, if your mother was counseled by a social worker, chances are she most certainly did think she was doing you a favor. I thought I was doing a favor for my child because she would have "a better life." When we finally did meet up, I expected to be "thanked" for the self-sacrifice I made by surrendering to adoption. I was young, gullible, and believed what the so-called "experts" told me.

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  11. Hi Marianne. He just turned 36. We have been in touch for 3 years. He has shared his two beautiful children and his amazing wife with me. We're have highs and lows.... and I'm grateful for all of it.

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  12. I have regrets and, at the same time, am at a point of peace. I no longer look for a relationship, and I don't look into their lives often... but my daughter and her children will always be in my heart. I note things of importance...my youngest grandson is now attending a very expensive catholic high school...my older grandson is in trouble (I am sure he will sort it out)...etc. But I don't respond or bother much with the situation. I have done all I can. I gave them the truth, medical history, etc., the rest is on them.

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    1. So are you saying you tried to have a relationship and it failed? Are you sure your daughter wasn't told to ignore you? Adoption agencies were notorious for spreading lies on both sides to get first mother and adult child not to talk to each other.

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  13. My cousin had 4 more children after giving up her first child born when she was an unwed teenager. Very clear the adopted child had advantages and a better life than what she could have given him. He is much better off than his half siblings and his mother.
    He did satisfy his curiousity but wants little to do with his biological family anymore. My Cousin has been in a horrible depression since meeting her first son and then dropped as far as any relationship with him beyond cards a few times a year. That she is vindicated in her choice in that her son clearly better off in another family still hurts her. A lot of damage to her. We are hoping that her feelings of wanting to commit suicide are situational and will abate as she learns to absorb the relationship and lack thereof. Her other children also hurt and upset. Very little good came out of this. 5 lives very much worse than before the meeting.

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    1. Rebecca:
      That is really sad, and I feel sorry for your cousin. But hasn't she found some peace of mind, knowing her son is happy and healthy? Living and well? Things could always be worse. There's no way to predict or control an adoptee's feelings about his/her situation, and he has a right to his feelings, no one can say that he doesn't. Rejection is possible in a reunion, and probably more likely than not. But isn't it worth it to know that your child is better off then, as was the wish? I'm not sure I understand, perhaps there is more to the situation. If he expressed anger, that's OK, but hate or scorn would not be called for. If so, I hope she can stop taking it to heart. Your cousin did what seemed to be best for him. That counts for something, doesn't it?

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    2. Are you sure the tragic suicide attempts and thoughts are stemming from holding in the pain of losing her son all those years?

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    3. I don't know the whole story, and I do not care to know as it's not my business, but we cannot assume that financial wealth makes for a better life. I was adopted into a family and I live well. I have adoptive cousins that are from an extremely famous family. I've lived next to big shots and earlier this year attended a funeral with another extremely famous family. Trust me, wealth does not equate happiness and wealth does not equate a stable life. Cos, whilst I can't say why, the shit really has hit the fan in my adoptive family on the famous line, and well, actually has many times.

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    4. Her children are hurt and upset, but unless her other son/ their half brother is a sociopath like the first mother's son above he cannot be fully blamed. The adoption industry is set up so nobody is prepared. There isn't a single course or book or group out there to support siblings who find out they have a sibling that was given away/lost to adoption.

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  14. I'm so sorry Rebecca. Unfortunately no one gets away pain free in adoption. I have struggled and still do struggle with my choice... how it affected him, my family, and myself. Therapy helps. Listening to other first mothers helps. Reading this blog helps. A constant reminder to forgive myself for inflicting pain on others and myself helps. And the serenity prayer. That one helps the most.... in the darkest of hours. Wishing peace and self forgiveness to your cousin.

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    1. I want to thank you for literally the most marvellous comment I have ever read from a first mother.

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  15. I believe that those who are considering contacting a child they gave up or a parent who gave them up, should also get counseling. If things go well, it can be wonderful. But if not, disasterous.

    On separate note, my cousin who works at Planned Parenthood said that more opting for abortion now that privacy not likely to be maintained. I truly believe giving a life a chance over insisting that this will always be an issue that can come back to you. One can always change mind about privacy later and if both parties mutually agreeable on release of info or meeting, fine. But that option and all that goes with life gone if a woman chooses to end the pregnancy. During those days when all these options on table, it’s often too much to have a child out there that can surface. These women do not want child. It’s just a matter of whether there will be one or not

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    1. Who do you think you are going around and saying that adoptees are bad reminders of their first mother's pasts? Who do you think you are to blame us for something we did not do? Do not speak for women who conceived children in rape. My friend who has a three year old she conceived in a rape and attempted murder can speak well enough for herself.

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  16. Nearly a third of the women who give up a child for adoption will never have another. The trauma of relinquishing a child is a lifelong punishment.

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    1. Secondary infertility, some just physically cannot. Others compensate by having numerous children (6+) and naming some after the lost child.

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  17. Statistically, there are none to back up your comment about choice of adoption vs. abortion. Two states that have never had sealed records had higher rates of adoption than surrounding states. Your facts are based on hearsay, not reality. Ms. Yourig.

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  18. Rebecca said "my cousin who works at Planned Parenthood said that more opting for abortion now that privacy not likely to be maintained"

    So?

    And as Lorraine said, this a false equivalence. Your cousin's anecdotes are going to be inevitably biased and inaccurate. I respect her experience working at PP, but that doesn't mean she can accurately take a policy idea and apply it broadly to a group and state she knows how it is going to impact decision making. Only research or a study can do that, and what we know currently is that there is not an increase in abortions in open records states but actually a DECREASE in abortions. See link below.

    https://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/reform_adoption_data.php

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    1. Privacy was never granted in adoption to begin with.

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    2. If I remember right, and I could be wrong, I think Ms. Yourig has been on this website before posting very pro adoption nonsense?

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    3. You are right. I feel that occasionally it is useful to see what others out there think and I knew that people would tell her another story, but Jane and I are getting tired of her trash talking here. She will be seriously monitored from now on. She also never made clear her connection to adoption except through a cousin or someone.

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    4. My problem with Ms. Yourig, who I feel should be blocked, is she is refusing to listen to any of the accuracies posted on here.

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  19. Let me start off by saying, I'm truly happy for all successful reunions. Opening the door for me was a disaster. After years of silence and being in the closet, I decided to search for my son that I relinquished in the 60s. We did reunite and he did not have a wonderful adoptive life that I was promised. Our honeymoon phase was very short lived and then his verbal and emotional abuse began. Because I had so much guilt and regret, I continued in the relationship accepting the abuse as part of my "punishment" for seven years. I believe that he did try, but looking at me surfaced so many emotions of abandonment which he could never over come. He has every right to feel the way he does. He never asked to be born and then be abandoned by the woman who gave him life.

    To all the first mothers that are still in the closet and wondering if they should search, please seek counsel. I once read that many adoptees are looking for a relation, but not a relationship. I found this analogy to be true with my reunion. It can be a roller coaster ride that you have never experienced. I think my heart hurts more since I witnessed the trauma imposed upon him. I want nothing more than for him to find peace and contentment. It that means leaving me behind, so be it. My reaching out failed. My reunion failed, but it doesn't mean yours will.

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    1. Love and peace to you anonymous. I agree about seeking counsel. I had years of therapy before reunion and still wasn't prepared for the profound grief.... my own AND my son's. My heart goes out to you and your son.

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    2. Thank you, Lisa. I am so grateful to Lorraine, Jane and all who participate on the forum. I sign off as anonymous because of the secrecy that is so embedded in me. Very few people knew of my reunion. I wish you a long and loving relationship with your son.

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  20. I'm glad there are stories like this and I wish that mine was one of them. But when you were deliberately conceived to trap a man into marriage, things don't often go so well. My incubator, and I refuse to call her anything other than that, wanted nothing to do with me, her discarded pawn when I found her at age 39. Fortunately my biological father has a heart, unlike my her.

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